tv The Power of Decision CSPAN April 22, 2017 10:00pm-10:55pm EDT
you archival films. "the power of decision" was made by the air force for the strategic air command. it simulates a quick strike response to a soviet attack. in the new cleared -- in the nuclear conflict depicted, many die. probably used for training, this film was made public by george washington university's national security archives in 2011. at this moment, you are in the central part of the united states, over 100 feet below the surface of the earth, surrounded by thick, reinforced concrete. in the event of an attack, this entire structure can be see a, protected against a radioactive fallout. through those doors and around the corner is the operations
dedicated to the prevention of war, any war large or small. this forces commented by the joint allied early warning defense system. control -- >> offense control, colonel dawes. reject the weather in that area. the last check indicated thunderstorms. right. gentleman from this room, we control the entire long-range air offense force of $3000, tankers, and sport aircraft. joint chiefs of staff's force pummeled his poised and ready to strike targets from anywhere in the world from bases in the united states and overseas. it is the most powerful military force in world history. we are in contact with this force with the most advanced
communications is the never built. it affords practically instantaneous communication with over 100 bases in the united states and our many bases overseas. closed-circuit television provides immediate information for the senior officers of the staff, enabling them to make vital decisions stettinius we. -- decisions instantaneously. we have this red phone alert circuit. this circuit allows us, by cease for digits, to override all other lines and set up a conference call to the control centers on all our bases. all such conversations are recorded on these tape recorders here. sitting over there are the controllers. for effective control of the long-range offense force, is divided into three areas. each man controls the aircraft in a given area. this is a deterrent force with a primary mission of keeping a global war from starting.
if we are to be successful in this mission, we have to have plans of all kinds, detailed blueprints that have been worked out foreign events. these are flexible plans, and can be changed to meet any contingency. let's have a look at some of the displays. andy, take over here, will you please? we call this the big board. these panels show missions in progress throughout the world. some forces are being deployed, some being shifted, some are special missions to improve combat effectiveness. these missions are going on 24 hours a day and averaging the
high activity. with the lows -- the high activity. bangs -- the high activity , a mission the lows takes place every three and a half minutes. see these clocks here? never before in military history has time been so important. but of course, our true mission here is to control this offense force. as i have said, is a deterrent force. it is a force which we control in readiness to perform airstrikes against an enemy. in the event of war, one would make the strikes. the war, let's see dance. this is the typical war plan for heavy units.
the fate of a nation may well be determined on such a board of this. this plan of force application may be adjusted depending on the world situation. all the information needed to control a force is here. this board and other boards behind it fixate routes, , target areas,s and all the other things necessary to make plan work. if the button is a repressed, we are all set to go. you'll notice this ring of bases encircling the enemy. we are running exercises in and around these bases with no formal pattern. some of these exercises follow good tactics, but always we mix in many bad tactics which we would never actually use. such, we keep the enemy of
forming any ideas of our plans and making plans to respond to us. he knows we can launch our attack without them. during the time. bank of 1958 through 1960, the united states -- during the time period of 1958 minutes and 60, the united states developed an intercontinental air force. a sizable portion of it is secure from the section -- from destruction of our enemy regardless of what action he takes against it. the size, composition, and alertness of the defense force is such that the enemy realizes that an attack on the united states would likely mean committing national suicide. a substantial portion of this force is maintained on constant alert, ready to begin taking off
within a few minutes after receiving the order to launch. this means that even with no more warning, the map provided by our early warning radars would send bombers on their way to vital targets in the enemy heartland before their bombers could reach our bases. this constant combat readiness is the surest way to prevent war. this massive capability is the deterrent of wars. the more we disperse, the larger the portion of the force that can be launched in a few minutes notice, the more difficult it is for the enemy to convince themselves of his ability to destroy it. the enemy cannot prevent the takeoff of these bombers on alert. the enemy cannot prevent our penetration into his heartland as long as we maintain our relatively strong deterrent force. but the enemy could someday gain greater strength and surpass our deterrent force.
this must never happen. wardy wins in nuclear because both sides are sure to suffer sarah -- suffer terrible damage. it is imperative we make sure the enemy can never impose his will upon us by military force. despite our efforts to deter them, the communists may resort to jennifer war -- to general war. this is not likely to happen before 1960. if they start a war, this is what will happen. our united states and allies would pick up the first sign of enemy aircraft. >> offense control. >> this is air defense. >> go ahead, air defense. >> we have a large number of
identified -- of unidentified aircraft coming in from the north. >> roger, we see them. williams, standby to establish a conference call to all bases. general larson, please. this is general larson. go ahead. >> sir, would you turn on your screen? a large number of unidentified aircraft have just appeared. >> right. go ahead, air defense. >> this is their defense. large groups of unidentified aircraft have been reported. reports from alaska indicate unusual activity in the northeast siberia. we are considering reclassifying these unidentified aircraft as hostile but of the unusual numbers and tracks. >> air defense, mrs. is general
larson. is your commander there? -- this is general larson. is your commander there? how does this look to you? more reports keep coming in all the time. we just talked with our people in alaska and to the canadians. both are picking up tracks. my cruiser are fine -- are on five minute alerts. our antiaircraft missiles are on alert, ready to launch. >> how much time to get our aircraft off the ground? >> our first check indicates you have about two and a half hours for the bases in the northern united states. >> that is close enough. i am getting my people moving right away. >> we will have 1/3 of our force launched within 20 minutes. they will be in strict configuration, but will not proceed without further orders.
please keep us advised. >> will do. thanks, jim. pentagon, get me the joint chiefs. >> the alert for skin go right now with positive recall. how much we can say it depends on how soon i can give the execution. what are your orders? >> the president and joint chiefs are with me in the command post. implement quick strike. repeat, implement quick strike. thell forward the release minute a decision is made. good luck. >> thanks. >> this is general larson. we are putting quick strike into effect. make sure the crews understand they are to stand by for the proceed to target order. i want the first aircraft airborne in five minutes from now. have a third of our force on the
way in 15 minutes. let me know every 15 minutes what percentage of the remaining force is in minimum condition for takeoff, and what percentage fully loaded and combat operational. also, how soon can we have a strike back on capability for the alert force? and another item. >> notify our people in the far east we are taking off, and tell them we are authorized to proceed. all our strength will be coordinated on target. that is all. >> thank you. this is colonel dawes. all units implement plan quick strike. z.is 16:45
inshore the proceed to target order is understand by all crews. i say again, be sure all crews understand the proceed to target order. dependent evacuation is automatic with this order. repeat, dependent evacuation is automatic. authentication is mulberry. all stations the knowledge of the count of five. 4, five. the order for quick strike has basesd all
>> with a portion of our bombers on the strip alert within 15 minutes, set out measures in full operation, the rest of the offense force in the united states and overseas is moving into position, ready for takeoff. key part of this offense force is the b-52, with its crew of six highly skilled men. the rugged years and 15 our practice sessions are now going
the routes of all these aircraft , the b 47's, b-52s, and b 58's, have been carefully timed to take advantage of optimum tactics. the tankers are launching with them from their secure home bases. at some point, hundreds of miles from the home bases and high above all the clouds, the kc 135 will deliver fuel to one or more of the bombers. a is this fuel was will get bombers to their targets and bring them back home after the attack. all the planes, all the elements
fit into a plan to make the force operate as a precision instrument. while the alert force has been thrown into action, it can still be recalled, returning to home bases is the report of hostile aircraft proves false. his procedures in sure that the nation's offense force need not be held on the ground until the enemy -- [indiscernible] half-an-hour has passed since the first report of unidentified aircraft. in the control room, reports of the takeoffs and positions are being calculated by the command staff under the supervision of the director of operations.
general larson, this is turner. >> go ahead. >> departure reports are being called in now. the alert force is airborne. byhad a few takeoff late several minutes, and one accident shortly after takeoff. they are all off now. >> what about the rest? >> sir, an enemy missile report justin. >> just a moment -- just in. >> just a moment, sir. a missile believed to be listed detonated three minutes ago. no damage to the base reported. this must still be confirmed. >>. all right. what about that accident on takeoff? >> 8047 in the 16th way exploded shortly after takeoff. b 47 in the 16th wing
exploded shortly after takeoff. >> a little less than half of these are ready to strike. good --ker, ratio looks our tanker-bomber ratio looks good. >> air defense, this is general turner at the fence control. -- at defense control. is general ryan their? >> this is general ryan. what is the latest on those unidentified aircraft? >> we have positive information they are soviets. we just had a report from a canadian interceptor who made contact with six of them. we picked up 75 on our radar screens, so we can expect a lot more. we estimate they should get to your bases in about two hours. was the status of your fourth? >> the alert force has taken off.
>> i am holding off the rest as long as i can to build up the next strikeforce. >> we got an unconfirmed report of a missile attack near lockport. do you have anything on it? >> we picked that up on one of our reporters. also to in michigan and one in colorado. >> is there any particular pattern in the bomber yet? >> sisi to be spreading out as a part of south. there is no concentration -- they seem to be spreading out as they go south. there is no concentration of their attacks. >> have you spotted anything faster? >> nothing except those ballistic missiles. >> we will have to give the soviets credit for picking this place as an important target for launching several bombers against it. i don't doubt they can hit it. please keep me informed. i will let you know when i leave. >> good luck.
status of the headquarters? >> the aircraft and all personnel are standing by. >> good. >> yes? >> general. a orbiting aircraft reported blue jay was hit by an enemy missile. extensive damage appears to have been done to the two kc 97 squadrons there. six other advanced bases report missile explosions, but no hits. >> those tankers weren't supporting alert, were they? >> no. >> it means at least 10 less the 50 jews will make it back home. >> so the pattern is beginning -- 10 less b-52s will make it home. >> so the pattern is beginning
to form. our offense forth can only be ready to hit back. the west must expect to receive the first blow. sinceutes have elapsed the unidentified aircraft were picked up on the north american radar screen. the vice commander is en route to an alternate headquarters to take over operation of the offense force in the event at quarters is hit before it can be evacuated. meanwhile, general larson remained in command at headquarters. >> to air defense and find out if there is a pattern yet. >> urgent. repeat, this is control europe. urgent. turn on your screen. >> go ahead. received reports that large groups of soviet aircraft have been cited over germany, france, denmark, the netherlands, and belgium. our initial reports show that bonds have been dropped on airfields, near hamburg,
, as well ashe berg amsterdam, brussels, and tool. reports are still coming in showing extensive damage. >> this is x-ray, urgent, urgent. >> go ahead. cutting off. >> nuclear weapons have been dropped on osaka, okinawa, yokohama, and tokyo. more information to follow. >> call air defense and see if they have an established pattern of attack yet on north america. standby by for a conference call to all our bases. >> is a difference control. we just received a report from supreme allied commander europe and from x-ray in the far east. thesoviets have dropped atomic bombs on allied airfield in western europe and the far east. any further information yet on the pattern of attack on this continent? >> no, nothing.
we have several interceptions, but the pattern of attack. >> no more, out. >> general turner. larson. the command post is calling. >> go ahead. >> this is brooks. >> the president has authorized the joint chiefs to give the auto field forces to proceed to target. release quick strike. repeat, you are authorized to give the order to proceed to assigned target. release quick strike. that is all. >> and knowledge. acknowledge.-- >> roger. >> have all alert force aircraft
proceed to assigned targets. want all available missiles. make sure you get the word to everyone. i don't want anyone turning back because we couldn't contact them. >> are you ready on the conference call? this is general turner. all units, all quick strike aircraft proceed to assigned targets. i say again, all quick strike aircraft proceed to assigned targets. attention missile sites, fire at will on designated targets. repeat, fire at will on designated targets.
give me your attention here please. released an airstrike, repeat we have now released a strike. our missiles are launching at will. i want to bring you up to them and -- up-to-the-minute. the execution order was executed. 15 minutes later this was in the era headed for its target. canceleds ago we recall procedures. we released these aircraft to carry out their first mission. the remainder of the force has prepared evacuation, it is now being placed in strike configuration and will be committed with the
follow-through strikeforce as soon as orders are given. they carried out their full warfare missions. fore were the takeoff areas the forces of the united states, they were launched from overseas. aircraft were to play a forward operating bases were at hangers. some of the bombers came from intermediaries. from the united kingdom north , and the fara east, these aircraft would rendezvous in these refueling areas. revealing reports should be coming and within the next hour. those aircraft taking off from approach the will soviet radar map shown here by the dotted line.
the effort. one hour after penetrating the they will be shown at this line. remember this is a bomb as you go concept. first. targets this enhances the penetration capability of each wave. this is essential because we are playing the soviets game. he knows we are coming, we must use every trick to overwhelm him. shows the position of lead aircraft two hours after the first penetration. will come these areas under attack in the waves. in the third hour after crossing of early warning the leaders the first penetration will have
progressed to these positions. they will go on to strike targets in this last area. withdrawal along from the areas or refueling areas. we will start getting strike reports within three hours. we will continue to get those reports for an additional 10 hours. this will be the critical time of the control room, i went all reports as fast and as accurate as possible. this concludes the briefing. >> go-ahead, air defense. they are beginning the pattern of attack. northeast, one east of center. and one in the northwest.
you're throwing everything at them. we estimate there will be bombers, along the 45 minutes. you may have less time with the jet stream. that is all. what is the status of the rest of the force? >> we go to the strike follow-through. then give the execution order for all remaining aircraft in the air. >> set up a conference call. >> also call operations, have been pick up my location. >> some of our bombers are equipped with weapons that can be launched miles from the target.
20 hours have elapsed. and most aircraft have landed at their strike basis. either intermediate or advanced stations or back at their home base. reports from those who hit their targets. actions,lands future with the war itself. in the control room of the alternate headquarters, they are busy tabulating the reports. from there the planning staff will have additional attacks.
>> what are the latest totals on aircraft? the report shows only about 25% of your aircraft. is right but of the 14 recovered they have been bombed. which forces the aircraft to land at other bases. >> how many reports of the phone through with? we have two thirds of quick strike but not on the follow-through. >> keep trying to find them. reports have a situation about where we are getting this information. uncover the report. >> total results so far with aircraft scheduled this 1545.
aircraft airborne 1517. reports and crew estimates 1419. by hundred 71. no losses in enemy territory as a two hours ago. 49 missing. major battle damage to aircraft requires three days repair. 62. >> the difference between the sum of these two pictures and this airborne total is 453. these 453 unaccounted for 53craft there should be b-52s still airport. the missing figure is high because northern africa has broken down.
we are waiting for a group of lessrs, many have never that the reports are not being forwarded. >> thank you. 57's and 50 b-52s or on the ground six hours ago. we have previous reports of that. we have reports of 342. >> what action have you taken with those truths? there is sufficient aircraft is sufficient with our needs. want my chris picked up not reports. >> next is the airbase status. usederation so far we have 121 bases in the united states.
42 of the available bases overseas. communications to the oversee areas are bad but it is as good as we have. states isbases in the 72. any overseas area there is 67. bases usenet states is 72, overseas area is 37. bases damaged and united states is 20. overseas 20, this figure includes all missile sites. bases the strike and the united states 46. 16 knownas areas damage. 16 known this right includes all sites. our overseas data is unreliable. we do have bases in north africa, three and alaska.
two in the far east. that is only can back up with reports. >> how many takers are operating from the canadian base? schedule anymore and there. they will be looking for us i'm sure. what is your latest total? >> in addition to the 93. 238 bombers and tankers on the ground. some of these just returned from their mission. that is bad. >> it is a lot better than might have been. >> if there are no other questions? >> go-ahead. >> cert we have 625 strike
a hundred briefing reports. but our information is limited. the majority of the targets the attack on our quick strike and are follow-through. , 12 long-ranges bombers. fighter and tactical control fighters. and 12 enemy transport sectors. we are waiting for those photos to compute the actual destruction. we do have the bomb damage assessment photo over the area. >> this is the map of the target. the initial point here and the aiming point here. this is the radar production. lakeis the outline of the which is on the map.
blowup as the bomb detonated. >> where did the bomb hit? >> within 300 feet of the point. it was destroyed by our first estimate. >> samiti analysis when you get it. >> we have file reports on both of those. let's bring the stimulator. -- and the air target. >> what was the attack on the united states? >> we have them plotted over here. >> start we have failed in our primary mission. however our secondary mission of destroying the enemy is to fill. catastrophic damage has been inflicted on the united states,
we only have spasmodic communications with the affected areas. most of these were through hand radio operators. other information has been these together from visual observation by bombing crews. >> total personnel casualties are estimated to exceed 60 million. this includes approximately 20 million wounded. expected they through the bulk of their bombers and their weapons at the defense force but they also had a strong effort against the energy communities. pittsburgh,ork , and loschicago angeles industrial areas were completely destroyed. richmond,ffalo, knoxville, st. louis, omaha,
denver, salt lake, seattle, and san francisco suffered severe damage and high casualties. >> their effort reaches as far south as ft. worth, dallas. it will be sometime before we can have a complete report. our contacts with civil defense are only spasmodic. >> you will receive a complete report when it backs are available. >> the president and the joint chiefs of staff are safe. they are at the alternate command post. >> or seem to be two ways of aircraft separated by about four hours. >> idly i know their defense says ely unidentified aircraft turned out to be friendly. cert the next phase flow be by operation. sergeant, let's have a look.
>> we are operating under plan foxtrot. the next attack is scheduled to go off in seven hours. 52 support missions for europe and the far east trade what are the remaining 71? five new weapon storage sites which were picked up. we have bombers coming into reach. 25 against airfield targets remix -- missed. and control centers we did not schedule. >> remove those control structures right away. readgun their airfields, -- resort to positive recall. what are you planning after foxtrot? >> operation clean sweep.
>> the joint chiefs of staff are on the line. cleanupsending out some , i have a feeling after the next strike we may have control of the air. the next 24 hours we should be able to tell. we should have positive procedures. christ we have sufficient weapons for at least three days operations. keep me advised. >> how soon can a nation surrender? military power is destroyed and their communications and government center is shattered we must give him every chance take every
so the first attack is completed, they follow up. main effort is concentrated against soviet airpower. already more destruction power has been delivered and has been expended in the history of man. the time is now d-day plus four. four days after the first attack. >> we now have an indication of our success. during the past 36 hours no
nuclear weapon has detonated outside of the ussr. our attacks have resumed on the air forces did operating from substandard basis. these bases are being located an attack by our reconnaissance timing force. here is the bomb damage from the first strike effort. >> 100 enemy air base attacks, 94 were completely destroyed and heavily damaged. only four bombers have been lost , these are believed to have been operational relevant combat losses. several intelligence agencies report that a cease-fire has been received. meanwhile there are complete disintegration's of a resistance on the surface. >> they have no other choice, they must quit. clear the air, we have the power. they know it.